Year end reflections

I got the news about this early on a cold Christmas morning in ye olde Hinglan. Over breakfast I could hardly speak, for the tears threatening to spill out onto my cheeks. relief and frustration and happiness and anger. It’s taken me four days to be able to begin to put my feelings into words. I am pleased. I feel vindicated. It’s not easy to spend a year of your life doing and saying things without a surety that these things will bear any fruit. it’s not easy to win and lose friends and loved ones when you choose a battle that is bigger than you.
A couple nights before, I sat in my sistren’s kitchen in Islington expressing doubts and fears about life, about being so presumptious as to call myself an activist. about trying to be a writer in a country where people don’t particularly like to read. about choosing to fight instead of running away. about the insecurity of being a tree hugger working for a pro-business newspaper. about the lonliness of women who take on the system. about not being taken seriously at times. and not being sure that any of this was for anything at all. about if I would have the strength to continue or if I should just pack my georgie bundle and head back into the loving arms of babylon-don.
looking back on the year i’ve had, the highs and many lows. The private self-doubt that I manage to subvert enough to find confidence in front of a camera. it’s been an interesting ride, all of it, but I’m really glad to leave 2006 behind. On now to 2007, more adventures, more struggles, more triumphs, more laughter.
A month ago my mother, who still bears the scars of her own involvement in 1970 and still mourns the deaths of Walter Rodney and Maurice Bishop and too many others, told me that I had done my job regarding the consistent opposition to the smelter and giving solidarity to the frontline communities well. This was after months of warning me, trying to protect me, admonishing me to remember that all activists have a problem with maintaining balance in their lives. And I would nod and say yes, Eintou absent mindedly even as I rushed out of the house at six am without breakfast to go and plant trees in Union. So it’s no small compliment coming from her. Which is not to say that she hasn’t always been completely supportive of my talents, no matter how hidden they’ve been under my considerable flakiness. However I feel as if I gained her approval in a way that holding down a job and being able to buy a house wouldn’t have done.
I guess she suffers from that classic need to shield her children from a similar fate of loneliness and exclusion. I try to convince her that she’s done enough of a good job in shaping my mind, that she should leave me room to fight my own battles. She says I have nothing to prove to anybody. I say I have everything to prove to myself.

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